You Go

Forward planning is essential for any successful trip. Be prepared for all eventualities by considering the following points before you travel.

Passports and Visas

EU nationals and citizens of the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand need a Tourist Card for stays of up to 30 days. These are issued by airlines, travel agencies and Cuban consulates, and are extendable for an additional 30 days when you are on the island.

In addition to a Tourist Card, US citizens need a “general licence” to visit Cuba. To be eligible for one of these, your travel purpose must fall into one of 12 categories. All US citizens, however, can travel with a group tour or cruise, under the “people to people” educational category, and individually under the “Support for the Cuban people” category, as long as they adhere to specific regulations, including refraining from using any entities owned by Cuba’s military. These restrictions are administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Office of Foreign Assets Control

Travel Safety Advice

Visitors can get up-to-date travel safety information from the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the US State Department and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.




Customs Information

An individual is permitted to carry the following within Cuba for personal use:

Tobacco products

400 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 500 grams of smoking tobacco.


3 litres of alcoholic beverages.


If you plan to enter Cuba with US$5,000 or more in cash, you must declare it to the customs authorities upon arrival.


It is wise to take out an insurance policy covering theft, loss of belongings, medical problems, cancellation and delays. Medical insurance is sometimes provided by Cuba’s Asistur, and included in the cost of airline tickets. Check with your airline. Otherwise, visitors must arrange their own private medical insurance before arriving in Cuba.



No inoculations are needed for Cuba, but it is recommended that you are inoculated against tetanus, typhoid and hepatitis A and B. Bring mosquito repellent, especially if you are travelling during summer months.


Cuba has two currencies. All tourist transactions are in pesos convertible (CUC, shown as $ throughout this guide), while for most everyday purchases Cubans use the peso (also called moneda nacional). Both currencies are divided into 100 centavos. One peso convertible is worth 24 pesos. The vast majority of visitors will only use pesos convertible and will have no need for the peso, except when buying ice cream at Coppelia stores or for local colectivo taxis.

Many state-run establishments, plus a few private restaurants, accept major credit cards (except cards issued or processed by US banks), but an 11 per cent service charge may apply and the system often malfunctions.

Booking Accommodation

In the summer months the state-run hotels fill up fast, and prices are inflated. Local casas particulares (private B&Bs) offer better bargains compared to hotels, and there is a huge selection catering to every budget. Many casas maintain websites, or are represented by agencies such as AirBnB and TrinidadRent.



Travellers with Specific Needs

Many historic buildings do not have wheelchair access or lifts, but most modern and renovated hotels provide toilets and other amenities for wheelchair-users, and many pavements now have wheelchair ramps. José Martí International Airport is wheelchair-accessible throughout and a programme is underway to add such facilities to other airports and stations.


Spanish is the official language in Cuba, but a large percentage of the population speak English, as well as many other languages. In rural areas, however, the level of English and other foreign languages spoken can be limited. Locals appreciate visitors’ efforts to speak Spanish, even if only a few words.



Offices and many museums close for one hour or longer at mid-day.


State-run museums, public buildings and monuments close for the day.


Most museums are open in the morning only and close in the afternoon.

Public holidays

Shops, offices and many museums either close early or for the entire day.

Need to know Before You Go

At a Glance


Peso convertible (CUC/$) and peso (CUP)

alt image

Average daily spend

alt image
alt image

Need to know Before You Go

essential phrases

alt image

Need to know Before You Go

Electricity Supply

Power sockets are type A and B, fitting two and three-pronged plugs. Standard voltage is 110–220v.

alt image
alt image

Need to know Before You Go


1 Jan Liberation Day
2 Jan Victory Day
28 Jan José Martí’s Birthday
24 Feb Anniversary of War of Independence
Mar/Apr Good Friday
19 Apr Bay of Pigs Victory
1 May International Worker’s Day
25–27 Jul Anniversary of Attack on Moncada
10 Oct Independence Day
25 Dec Christmas Day
31 Dec New Year’s Eve
..................Content has been hidden....................

You can't read the all page of ebook, please click here login for view all page.